After my very first babysitting gig at the age of 13, I came home and asked my mom to help me make babysitter business cards. Even before this, though, I had always known I wanted to work with kids. My answer to "What do you want to be when you grow up?" varied from teacher to pediatrician to child psychologist, but always centered around working with children. Now, many years later, I have been able to work so closely with many kids in a capacity I never imagined could become but am privileged to call a career. I enjoy the closer to one-on-one ratio and the longevity of being a nanny as opposed to being a teacher because I feel I get to become a much more integral piece of the child's life. Children have a way of making me feel more confident in being myself than the unfortunately jaded adult world, and I strive to create an environment in which the children I care for can feel the same sense of self-confidence and independence.
I have worked with children in varying stages of life, from infants to teenagers, and find each age as rewarding and enjoyable as the others. I have changed diapers, made the switch to solid foods, potty trained, taken kids to their first day of school, helped with Spanish homework and art projects, and fostered self-sufficiency and kindness in many a life. I have helped parents navigate multiple schedules while maintaining a household as a personal assistant, and created a safe, nurturing, loving environment in which their children can learn and play. I am passionate about food and health, I (mostly) follow a Paleo/whole food lifestyle, I am knowledgeable about nutrition, and I have prepared foods for children with dietary restrictions. I value learning through exploration and play as much as through reading.
I am an avid fan of sports and outdoor activities, semi-professional backyard and driveway athlete, efficient builder of forts, creator of scavenger hunts, planner of picnics, self-proclaimed master of arts and crafts, unparalleled homework helper, above average nursery rhyme and silly song singer, below average but extra goofy dancer, Academy award-winning story time reader, and an automatic best friend to children and dogs alike. I relish the opportunity to be a kid again, but not as much as the opportunity to help shape the minds and the lives of the tiny humans in my care. Being a nanny means every day is different; I get to play again, and I get to be a huge influence on and role model for my charges, and that makes for an incredibly rewarding job that I am happy to wake up for on Monday morning.
I will be SmartSitting while...
Spending time with my family, friends, and dogs; trying new foods; developing and cooking up new recipes; reading; or watching/playing sports like hockey, basketball, volleyball, football, and baseball. I love to find a spot outside when the weather is nice to read or people-watch. You'll typically find me reading non-fiction or anecdotal memoirs. I enjoy meeting new people and striking up a conversation with a stranger. I am passionate about nutrition and how the things we put in our bodies affect mood, behavior, and physical well-being, and especially how nutrition affects cognitive and physical development in children, so I spend a lot of my free time researching that. I also just love to learn, specifically about health, new languages, or anything psychology-related (child psychology, social psychology, criminal psychology, etc.). I have a strong desire to travel, which I think ties my love of learning and itch to explore together, so I often spend time looking into my next adventure.
In 5 years, I hope to be...
Planning to start my own family and still working with children in some capacity, whether that be as a nanny or possibly developing and opening my own preschool program that incorporates nutritional and healthy lifestyle values that aid in developing the mind and the body to their optimal potentials. I also hope to have a few more stamps in my passport!
Activities & skills I love to teach & share with children...
I love to teach children how to build forts, how to problem-solve via scavenger hunts and puzzles, and how to cook or bake. I think following a recipe can be beneficial in many ways for various ages, whether it is just learning to follow directions, using math, or developing motor skills with measuring, pouring, etc. It also is another creative outlet, especially when we get to the decorating part of baking! I also like to teach children Spanish or random knowledge and trivia through things like songs or using flash cards. Generally I am just a huge advocate of fostering independence and self-sufficiency in children, as well as teaching them to embrace their individuality and uniqueness. Every child is unique and harbors so much of his/her own creativity and personal energy, and I really like to make sure the children I care for are in an environment that accepts and encourages individual exploration and decision-making skills. I think being silly is important as well. I want kids to be comfortable being themselves, and I think when we have a silly dance party, or make up songs together, or build a crazy fort, it promotes a confidence in the kids (and also in me!) to do things that make them happy, regardless of what it looks like from the outside.